6 ways to save money on youth sports equipment

Everyone knows that youth sports are expensive. It’s a fact of life, like 6:00 AM ice times, the over enthusiastic grandpa tooting the train whistle in the stands right behind you, and the goal jug. Being a natural cheapskate, it pains me to shell out dollar after dollar just so my kids can learn life lessons and get sweaty, so I’ve got some money saving tips to pass along.

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My dinnertime secret weapon

This is the post where I battle fast food, take out and the family dinner with one awesome kitchen appliance. I think one of the biggest challenges of having an active family is figuring out how to feed them all a reasonably healthy dinner, but not all at the same time. When Dad is working late, Kid 1 has a 5:30 PM advisory meeting, Kid 2 has a 7:30 PM skate, and Kid 3, well, who the heck knows where Kid 3 is–work, maybe?– the idea of family dinner where everyone sits around the table and shares stories of their day while eating a healthy, balanced home-cooked meal is mostly just a fantasy. But that doesn’t mean that the healthy, balanced, home-cooked part is out the window. Read the rest of this entry »

Save the cellphones!

Has your kid ever come home from practice or a game with a phone that looked like this?

Broken iPhone screen

Stepped on? Really?

After a couple smashed sunglasses and cracked iPod and cellphone screens, I started to wonder what the heck was going on. Turns out, the kids throw their equipment bags on the floor or ground at practice, just like they do at home. And then, just like at home, other kids step on them. Go figure.

Obviously, this could not be allowed to continue. After some trial and error, we can up with a pretty good, and pretty cheap solution.

The Pretty Good, Pretty Cheap Solution

We took an empty lunch meat tub and washed it out, then put the cellphone and sunglasses in it and snapped the top on. Lo and behold–a protective case!

repurposed lunch meat container

A pretty good, pretty cheap solution.

It’s big enough to hold all the stuff, yet lightweight and fits in a baseball bag. It’s also fairly watertight. And when it gets stepped on, it may crack but, so far, the contents have been fine. We just replace the tub with another one and carry on. I’ve thought about lining it with bubble wrap or some leftover packaging materials but haven’t tried that yet. If you want to make it really secure, a wrap of hockey tape would do it.

I like the recycled aspect of this solution, and the cheap part as well. And the fact that I’m not at the Verizon store as frequently. Putting that one in the win column.